Millie Paine

INTRODUCTION

The digital revolution means that wherever we turn - be that across the platform while we wait for our morning train, or to our smartphones when we log on to check Facebook - we are bombarded by brands

 

Often, the ones that manage to cut through the noise are the ones that exude personality and connect with us on a human level. New developments in tech mean that activations like chatbots and voice assistants open up a whole new realm of possibilities in this area.

The unique nature of the human condition is often pinpointed in terms of our ability to use language to express ourselves, and our understanding that this expression is determined by our individual personalities. This is why technology that is capable of sustaining a conversation can help brands build relationships with users: it is a trait that is fundamentally human.

However, this doesn’t mean that chatbots should masquerade as people. Far from it - often, being dishonest with a user can make them feel duped. Indeed, you don’t want your activation to fall prey to the “uncanny valley”. What we should do, instead, is use digital conversations with consumers as an opportunity to inject a burst of personality into the brand.
When done well, voice assistants and chatbots can become brand ambassadors. The conversational interactions they have with consumers provide a lot of scope for personalisation and can play a key role in shaping brand personality and tone of voice. One of our challenges in developing a chatbot for Barcardi was integrating a genuinely human element into the bot a chatbot. We settled on inherently human traits that are difficult to mimic, a mischievous and unique sense of humour that was capable of executing a communicative campaign, but in a way that appealed to the pathos of users. This gave rise to one of our favourite chatbot workshop experiments in trying and find the bot’s celebrity match. Is your chatbot more of a Donald Trump or Barack Obama?
The capacity for conversation is a development that allows brands to connect more directly and intimately than before, and the trend is definitely one worth jumping on as a powerful way of shaping brand identity and your conversations with consumers.

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